Holiday Gift Guide 2015

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The Winter chill is here, lights and decorations are emerging, and we’re getting excited for the holidays! As you gear up for the gift-giving season, here are some of our favorite ideas for both the little ones and those who care for them.

Awesome toys from Fisher-Price:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Woodland Friends 3-in-1 Musical Activity Gym (ages 0+)

Babies love going to the gym! A clean, comfortable surface where baby can rest, play and get her tummy time in, the activity gym is one of my essential baby items. The Woodland Friends 3-in-1 Musical Activity Mat has 5 hanging toys, which include a mirror, an acorn rattle, a plush owl and leaves that baby can bat at and teethe on. A removable musical toy fox plays up to 10 minutes of music and sounds and can be separated from the activity mat for take-along fun. Cute, compact and machine washable, the activity mat makes a great gift that is sure to get plenty of use. $29.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Activity Fox (ages 0+)

Featuring a variety of great stimulation for curious babies, the Activity Fox is decked out with 5 activities, including a reflective self-discovery mirror, a jingling acorn, a rattling snail, a crinkly tail and a chewy leaf to ease itchy, teething gums. Kids will love how much fun this cute plush holds. You’ll enjoy having everything attached to one cuddly fox that you can easily grab and take with you. Plus, it matches the Woodland Friends 3-in-1 Musical Activity Mat, so if you’re going a full set, you’ll want to snag this great toy, too. $14.99

 

 

 

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo (ages 9-36 months)

Fisher-Price’s BeatBo has been a favorite for all the kids in our house since the moment they laid eyes on it. Even before I could get the toy out of the packaging, little hands were reaching for it, unable to resist the buttons on BeatBo’s feet. As soon as the first button was pressed, BeatBo sprang to life in an array of lights and sounds. With 40+ learning songs and games that touch on everything from rhythm to movement, numbers, letters and colors, this is a toy that both kids and parents will love. The music is fun and gets the whole family up, singing and dancing, from babies on up. BeatBo can even record your voice and remix it into a song to let you and your children participate in the music making. $39.99

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Little People Spinnin’ Sounds Airport (ages 1.5 – 5)

Traveling for the holidays and now have kids who are totally intrigued by the airport? Re-enact the fun with the Little People Spinnin’ Sounds Airport. Complete with ticket counter, control tower, restaurant, spinning airplane, as well as a baggage car and refueling station, kids have everything they need to take passengers through the entire airport experience. My kids especially love putting the characters in the plane and watching them spiral down to a safe landing at the press of a button. Action is accompanied by funs sounds to make the experience really come alive. $39.99

 

 

 

Classic characters with a new twist:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Thomas & Friends Minis Toy Trains (ages 3+)

These mini engines introduce a brand new scale for playing with Thomas and his train friends. Small enough to fit in the palm of a child’s hand and easy to stash a few for a trip to a restaurant, these little trains still possess the great details you expect of Thomas. They even bear their names on their undersides, which is a great help for forgetful parents. The trains link together, so that you can create one ginormous train. With more than 70 engines available in both classic and new themes, these Mini Toy Trains are fun to collect and share. They also make great stocking stuffers! Single mystery pack – $1.49; 3-pack – $3.99; 8-pack – $9.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Barbie Pop-Up Camper (ages 3+)

Barbie has a new set of wheels, and it is awesome! Seeing Barbie’s pink RV convert into a 3-tier camping extravaganza will make you wish you could go glamping in such an amazing vehicle. The same camper that was featured in the Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure movie, it has many features that will be familiar to young Barbie fans. The top extends to reveal an upper floor that accommodates a hammock, big screen TV and a chandelier, while the bottom floor makes room for a bed. A dining set can be placed on the roof for dining al fresco under the stars. The back opens up to a kitchen and the front magically transforms into a bathroom. I was personally amused to find a toilet under the passenger seat. Most amazing is a pool that pops out from the side of the camper with a slide that extends up to the top floor. The spare tire even pops off to become a campfire, complete with marshmallows on sticks. The camper comes with many tiny accessories (that you can conveniently store in the pool when not in use) but no dolls, so be sure to supply a couple if your child is just starting her collection. $99.99

Fun and environmentally friendly toys from Green Toys:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Green Toys Watering Can (ages 18mo+)

Green Toys has a loyal following for its classic play patterns, high quality products and responsible manufacturing processes. As our family has been spending more time in the garden this year, the Green Toys Watering Can has been a natural hit. Made from 100% recycled milk bottles like all the items in their line, this set includes a watering can, a rake and a shovel. All three are fully functional and, because they are all highly durable, you don’t need to worry about anything snapping in two as your little one actively tends the garden. Even left outside in the sun, these toys stand the test of time and can even be thrown in the dishwasher for a complete clean. It’s great in your backyard, as well as at the beach or the playground. $16.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Construction Trucks (ages 2+)

Another favorite from Green Toys, the Construction Trucks are sold separately with 3 vehicles comprising the line. Smaller than past Green Toys vehicles, this mini scooper, dump truck and cement mixer are perfect for toddlers to maneuver around their sandbox construction site. Our little guy especially loves that he can activate the front loader on the scooper and the back dumper on the dump truck to push dirt and sand around. Their small size makes them easy to take along to restaurants or sandier locations. Nicely constructed from durable recycled milk bottle plastic, these vehicles have minimal parts and nothing is sharp, so toddlers can safely play. $16.99 each

Fantastic art and creativity items from eeBoo:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015eeBoo Noisyball (ages 0+)

eeBoo’s Noisyball is a great first ball for baby. It’s easy-to grasp, soft, brightly colored and full of surprises. Grab it to hear it squeak or crinkle. Shake or roll it to hear it jingle. Family members, from young siblings to grandparents, will love using the eeBoo Noisyball to interact with baby. A game of catch is more engaging for everyone with the Noisyball’s many colors and sounds. This plush ball is also machine washable, making it easy to keep it clean and fresh. $24.99

 

 

 

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015eeBoo Glitter Puzzle – Rabbits’ Den (ages 3+)

From a very young age, my daughter has been captivated with puzzles. Glitter puzzles from eeBoo add an extra special touch with fun, holiday scenes and glittery pieces. This puzzle is great for the preschool set with 20 large, sturdy pieces that are easy for little hands to maneuver into place. When complete, the puzzle measures 11” x 15.” Packaged in a small box the size of a box of animal crackers, the eeBoo Glitter Puzzles make great stocking stuffers. With a variety of scenes, you can get a different one for each child on your list. An extra bonus is knowing that eeBoo puzzles are responsibly made from thick, 90% recycled gray board and printed with soy-based inks. $7.99

 

 

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Holiday Gift Guide 2015eeBoo Color Pencils and Sketchbook (ages 5+)

Make young artists happy with a brand new set of 24 color pencils and a clean sketchbook. The eeBoo Color Pencils come pre-sharpened and ready to use. They’re brightly colored and have a metallic wrap, inspiring imaginations to doodle and sketch the most awesome creations. Pair them with an eeBoo Sketchbook. Spiral bound at the top to stay out of the way of both righties and lefties, this collection of sketch books contain 60 large 8.5” x 11.5” thick pages that will hold up to sharp pencils and erasers while keeping marker ink from bleeding through. eeBoo offers a variety of designs, making it easy to stock up should your little artist be as prolific as ours. Color pencils – $12.99; Sketchbook – $5.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015eeBoo Skating Pond Advent Calendar (ages 3+)

Count down to Christmas with an eeBoo Advent Calendar. Build anticipation for the holidays while weaving in lessons around counting and patience. Enjoy each day by letting kids open the little doors to discover a new surprise behind each one. Fun for the whole family and a great way to keep track of just how many days you have left before Christmas. Pick a style from the many they offer. $6.99

 

 

 

Cool tech for little ones:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Griffin Technology KaZoo Stylus (ages 3+)

While you may be eyeing Apple’s new Pencil for yourself, check out a Griffin KaZoo Stylus for the younger members of your family. Kids will love having a stylus that’s clearly made with them in mind. The KaZoo Stylus sports a cute monkey up top and a nice chunky, textured rubber grip. The soft, rounded drawing tip lets kids interact with your tablet to their heart’s content without scratching your screen. We tried it on an iPad2 and found the stylus to be accurate and responsive enough for my little ones to enjoy creating their own digital masterpieces. Say goodbye to streaky fingerprints all over your screens! $14.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Onanoff BuddyPhones Volume Limiting Headphones (ages 3+)

If you’re travelling far this holiday season, you may want to bring this gift out early. A lifesaver on both car rides and plane trips, the Onanoff BuddyPhones lets kids enjoy music, movies and games in full comfort and without danger of hurting their ears. The earpieces are nicely cushioned with foam padding covered in synthetic leather, and the band can be adjusted to fit different head sizes. Volume is capped at 85 decibels, the top level recommended by health experts. Great for multiple kids, these headphones come with a built-in BuddyCable audio splitter that lets you daisy chain up to 4 sets of headphones for a shared listening experience. They fold down and include a travel bag to make them easy to take with you. With availability in blue, pink, green, purple and orange as well as fun stickers that can be applied, these headphones can be easily personalized for each child in the family. $24.95

More fabulous toys for preschoolers:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Thames & Kosmos Kids First Automobile Engineer Kit with Storybook (ages 3+)

Have a budding engineer in your family? Encourage her enthusiasm with a Kids First Automobile Engineer Kit. Accompanied by a 32-page book that takes kids through a story, in which they can follow along and build 10 different vehicles, the Kit contains 70 chunky plastic pieces that are easy for small hands to assemble. Kids will love putting together a race car, motorcycle, school bus, fire truck and more. You’ll appreciate that this kit comes with its own durable storage case, so that all pieces can be easily stored away between uses. $44.95

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Irish Fairy Door (ages 3+)

We love this next gift for encouraging kids’ wonderful imaginations. Irish Fairy Doors serve as portals for magical fairies to enter the human world and take residence in your home. Start by picking from a variety of adorable little doors on their website. Then, watch for the beautiful handcrafted door to arrive in fantastically whimsical packaging, straight from Ireland. Each door comes with stepping stones, a little key in a bottle, a mini pad of paper for communicating with your fairy, a lease and a welcome booklet that helps introduce the fairy door and how to use it. Find a place to put your fairy door, name your fairy, register it on the website and then leave the magic key for your fairy to claim and use. Parents get regular messages through email to keep the magic alive with fairy stories and activities that encourage kids to stay engaged. It’s fun for parents and kids alike. $19.99

 

Great travel items from Diono:

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Diono Travel Changer

Tired of carrying around a large diaper bag but still have a child in diapers? The Diono Travel Changer makes it easy to carry all your diaper changing essentials in a convenient clutch. Complete with changing pad, a zip-seal wipes pouch and enough room to stash a couple diapers, the Travel Changer is small enough to throw in the bottom basket of your stroller or hang by its strap from your stroller handle. I also love that there is a zippered pouch in the interior and another zippered pouch on the exterior of the clutch that is perfect for taking along your ID, money and phone. The set is padded for baby’s comfort and is completely waterproof for easy sanitizing. $24.99

 

 Holiday Gift Guide 2015Diono Stow ‘n Go

As you prepare to travel for the holidays and possibly a long car ride to grandma’s and grandpa’s, you’ll want to pick up a Diono Stow ‘n Go as an early present for yourself. This handy back seat organizer will save you from constantly wondering where your tissue box went and having kid necessities strewn across your car. A pocket-covered panel that Velcro-straps to the headrest of the driver’s or front passenger’s seat and has elastic to secure it at the bottom as well, the Stow ‘n Go makes organizing all the items you must take with you easy. It includes see-through mesh pockets, so that nothing gets lost, and has two that are large enough to hold bottles and cups. I also love using my Stow ‘n Go to hold toys, books, crayons, Band Aids, tissues, wet wipes and for stashing all the wrappers one goes through while on a long car ride. Made of waterproof fabric, the Stow ‘n Go is easy to wipe clean. Added bonus – it also keeps the back of your seat clear of tennis shoe scuff marks!

And, last but not certainly not least, something to spice up the holidays:

RawSpiceBar Spice Set Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Looking for a unique gift that makes cooking for the family fun and exposes everyone to an exciting palette of flavors? Check out the monthly subscription service from RawSpiceBar. Each month, RawSpiceBar will send you 3 freshly ground spices from a different international region. Past sets have included spices from Istanbul, Navaho, Malaysia and Japan. My November set introduced me to pumpkin pie spice, Berbere and mitmita from Ethiopia. It included information about each spice – flavors, origin, serving suggestions, ingredients and allergy info. To help you make the best use of your spices, RawSpiceBar collaborates with expert chefs to present recipes for a main dish, side dish and a dessert. Additional recipes can be found on their blog. Spices are freshly ground and blended, so that you can enjoy their full flavor. Packaged in .4 oz pouches, they’re perfectly sized for the suggested recipes, which provide 3 dishes serving 4-6 people. I also appreciate that RawSpiceBar seeks out local farmers and organizations to support. The November set purchases its African bird’s eye chili peppers from Asante Mama, a Ugandan farming business that helps rural women overcome poverty. $6 per month

From toys to electronics to spices, we hope this Gift Guide provides plenty of inspiration as you look for gifts for the whole family. May your holidays be merry and filled with joyful moments celebrating with the ones you love!

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